Use a Snorkeling Swim Cap to Keep Control of Your Hair

My hair was driving me NUTS, so using snorkeling swim cap became necessary for me and it works great.

Snorkeler on boat with hair flying in wind applying sunscreen.
Nicole’s crazy snorkeling hair in Bonaire.

On a Bonaire trip, I started having issues with my hair while snorkeling. I have straight, fine hair that I wear a few inches longer than shoulder length. My long hair was getting tangled around the snorkel attachment on the mask strap, causing the pulling out of my hair when I took it off, ouch! I also have a lot of shorter new hairs that are only a few inches long and they were causing two problems: they were getting caught between my face and the mask causing it to leak and they were interfering with my vision while snorkeling, annoying!

My mask strap would also slide down my head on my slippery straight hair, jamming it on top of my ears causing sore ears by the end of the snorkel.

So, I went in search of a solution. Most solutions I found were really for divers. There are bandanna-like hair coverings that a lot of divers use, but I didn’t think that it would stay on with the knot at the back of my head while snorkeling. Divers also commonly use a neoprene hood with a chin strap. I tried one of these on in the thinnest neoprene available, 1 mm, and found it to be very warm and really decreased my ability to hear. So, that was out too.

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Snorkeling Swim Cap Solution

Typical blue Lycra swim cap product picture.

Then, I remembered from swimming years ago wearing a swim cap. The ones I wore back then were latex and not breathable at all. I thought that with being out in the sun and snorkeling for more than an hour at a time, it would get too hot too.

So, I researched and found that they make swim caps out of Lycra and decided that it might just be the thing, a snorkeling swim cap (on Amazon). I knew that I would run the risk of looking dorky, but I was willing to try it anyway.

I am so glad I did. I wore the snorkeling swim cap on numerous snorkeling trips and can report that it was exactly the right solution to my problem and even solved another issue I hadn’t expected.

Snorkeler with head out of water showing snorkeling swim cap
Nicole in her snorkeling swim cap in Hawaii.

Primarily, it keeps those short little fly-away hairs from getting in my face while snorkeling and from compromising my mask seal. My snorkeling swim cap also contains my long hairs so that they do not get tangled in my snorkel clip or mask strap, yipee! Another benefit is that it keeps my mask strap from sliding down, hurting the tops of my ears and making my mask leak.

The surprise additional benefit I noticed is that the snorkeling swim cap protects my scalp and the tops of my ears from the sun, so it would be great for sun protection for a bald head too!

When I wear it, I put my hair up in a bun high on the back of my head. Then I put on the snorkeling swim cap, making sure I do not have the cap too low on my forehead, and then my mask. My mask strap has a split in it, so I put one strap on the top of my bun and one underneath. This keeps the strap from sliding down my head.

If you have any hair issues while snorkeling, I highly recommend trying a swim cap for snorkeling, it really works for me!

Since the initial writing of this I have also tried and love my Buff Headwear and a hooded rash guard. Join our newsletter to learn about new equipment we test.

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